In which chapter did Henrietta die in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In one sense, as the title indicates, this book tells the story of cell tissue that never actually "died," and is still very much alive today, and how this amazing immortality has been of incredible benefit to the world. However, the physical, corporal life of Henrietta Lacks, the lady that died as a result of the amazingly vigorous and immortal cancer cells, was very much a temporal person. Her life and death are described in Chapters 1-11, Part One of the book, with her death occuring in Chapter 11. This particular section of the narrative of Henrietta's life is very tragic, as it describes the immense pain Henrietta experienced in her final days as the cancer took over her body and eventually killed her. The title chapter, "The Devil of Pain Itself," refers to the description of one of Henrietta's family members of the wailing and crying that Henrietta emitted in her last few days:

Suddenly her body went rigid as a board. She screamed as a nurse ran to the bed, tightening the straps around Henrietta's arms and legs to keep her from thrashing onto the floor as she'd done many times before. 

After being prescribed only painkillers and morphine, Chapter 11 concludes with the death of Henrietta on October 4th, 1951. Of course, this, for Skloot, is only the beginning of the remarkable story of Henrietta Lacks, and the rest of her book tells this tale.

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